Escalating Death Sentences: Brief on the state of the death sentence in Egypt during 2022

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Within the framework of the monthly monitoring conducted by the Egyptian Front for Human Rights regarding the death sentence situation in Egypt, in criminal cases, and others that included incidents of political violence during the year 2022, the front monitored an increase in the issuance of death sentences by civil criminal courts during this year to 538 more death sentences since the previous year. The Court of Cassation and Military Appeals also upheld the death sentences issued against 39 people, all of which were in criminal cases, and during the same period, the authorities carried out death sentences against 30 people in at least 11 cases, including 4 people in the “Helwan Microbus” case and 3 people in the “Soldiers of Egypt” Case. These numbers were monitored by tracking press releases in various media outlets, and direct communication with lawyers.

In addition to issuing the death penalty in cases related to incidents of political violence, despite the fact that some of them contain breaches of fair trial guarantees for the defendants, the courts continue to issue the death penalty in their verdicts in various crimes, as the Egyptian law permits the issuance of the death penalty for 105 crimes stipulated in Egyptian legislations. Such as the Penal Code 58/1937 and its amendments, the Military Provisions Law 25/1966, the Weapons and Ammunition Law 394/1954, and even the Drug Control Law 182/1960. The death penalty in Egypt faces many problems; Including its application to a wide range of crimes, not only serious crimes, and there is often a violation against the defendant’s right to obtain a fair trial, which are the guarantees stipulated in international covenants and treaties, especially in cases involving crimes that can be sentenced to death.

The following graph shows a quick comparison of the statistics of death sentences between 2019-2022, which shows a significant increase in the issuance of death sentences by Egyptian courts.

 

First: Implementing the executions

The Egyptian Front monitored the authorities’ execution of death sentences against at least 30 people in more than 11 cases, including 7 people in two cases of political violence, namely Case 3455/2014 in the south of Giza, known in the media as “Soldiers of Egypt” and Case 9115/ 2016 in the south of Giza as well as the Supreme State Security Case 513/2016, known in the media as “Helwan Microbus” case, these two cases in which the defendants were subjected to grave violations, on top of which were severe torture and enforced disappearance for prolonged periods, in addition to being interrogated in the absence of their lawyer. In addition to implementing the execution against 23 persons in at least 9 criminal cases, most of which were carried out in February, March, June, July and August.

Second: The Death verdicts

The Egyptian Front observed the issuing of death verdicts against at least 538 persons in 326 cases, 28 persons of which are accused in 8 cases of political violence. In the Emergency State Security Case 689/2021 before the Military Court, First Degree of Raml Station, the death verdict was issued against two people accused of manufacturing explosives and joining a terrorist group, the case known in the media as the case of the “Helwan Soldiers Organization”. In another case, 51/2021 where policemen were killed in Sharqia governorate, an engineering technician was sentenced to death after being accused of manufacturing explosives. Also there is the case of storming and burning the Mattai police station and killing the deputy sheriff, and the case of attempting to assassinate a court president, Case 451/2014 State Security, known in the media as the Helwan Brigades, and the case considered by the Military Court, which is Case 79/2016. Death Verdicts were issued against 510 people in 318 criminal cases during that period.

Third: Upholding the death sentence

According to the Egyptian Front’s monitoring, the Court of Cassation upheld at least 39 death sentences in 23 cases, all of which were criminal, during 2022. It is worth noting that during that year, the death sentence was not upheld in any case of political violence.

Data of cases based on incidents of political violence and in which the death penalty was carried out during 2022

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